What if you could take five items that are currently hanging in your closet, unused and unloved, and trade them in for a $40 Nordstrom gift card? Yes, obviously. Who could say no?
But it gets better: Fashion Project, an online platform for clothing donation, will resell the five items you donated and then pass along the proceeds to the nonprofit of your choice. So whether you care about animal advocacy or improving literacy or reducing income inequality, as soon as an item you donated to the Fashion Project sells on their e-commerce platform, 55% of the net proceeds will go towards a cause you believe in.
The Fashion Project may remind you of other eco-fashion initiatives, like H&M's garment recycling program, but there's one key difference: "The thing that distinguishes us from other clothing donation programs is that our main goal is to raise money for nonprofits," founders Anna Palmer and Christine Rizk told me.
The company implements certain quality controls to ensure a shoppable online store which generates money for the organization's charity partners. Fashion Project only accepts garments that are gently used or new with tags from a select list of established brands ranging from Calvin Klein to A.L.C to Anthropologie; original retail price should be above $50. "We try to sell every single piece of clothing that's donated to us," said Rizk.
Using high-quality photographs of each item and sleek website copy to establish a strong point of view, the Fashion Project has a fashion-forward boutique feel. The selection is stylish and priced well below retail (think $98 for a pair of Marni pumps). Brands include luxury heritage labels (like Fendi, Lanvin, Givenchy) and high-end contemporary lines (Alice + Olivia, Vince, Rag & Bone). Shoppers can see exactly which charity stands to benefit from each purchase.
If you want to donate your clothing, you can request a(n adorable) free donation bag or print a prepaid mailing label at home.